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C-Zero awarded $2MM from ARPA-E for Methane Pyrolysis Reactor Design

Santa Barbara, California—C-Zero announced that it has won a competitive $2 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). C-Zero will use this funding to develop a novel process for transforming methane into hydrogen and valorized carbon cement additive using high temperature liquids in a multi-phase pyrolysis reactor.


Unlike current hydrogen generation technologies, C-Zero’s process will not directly coproduce carbon dioxide and does not require water as an input. If successful, this technology will allow C-Zero to significantly reduce the cost of hydrogen and accelerate large-scale, domestic hydrogen production with a low carbon footprint.


Commenting on the award, C-Zero CEO Zach Jones said “This award enables us to show that our methane pyrolysis reactor can generate hydrogen and carbon from natural gas in an energy efficient and scalable manner. “


C-Zero’s technology, which was initially developed at the University of California, Santa Barbara, uses innovative thermocatalysis to split methane into hydrogen and solid carbon. The hydrogen can be used to help decarbonize a wide array of existing applications, including hydrogen production for fuel cell vehicles, while the carbon can be permanently sequestered.


C-Zero received its competitive award from ARPA-E’s High Value Methane Pyrolysis - Topics Informing New Areas program. The program seeks to develop high value methane pyrolysis processes, including approaches that can economically convert natural gas to both fuel cell-grade hydrogen and higher value carbon materials (e.g., carbon fiber) with a low CO2 footprint.